WINDHAM — The Planning Board got its first look at a proposed addition to A.J. Letizio building on Indian Rock Road.
Owners of A.J. Letizio Sales & Marketing presented preliminary plans to add a three-story, 9,009-square-foot addition to the existing 7,624-square-foot building. Most of the new construction will be on the back of the building, which is not visible from the current Route 111.
The distinctive A.J. Letizio sign will be moved from its current location to a spot on the parcel that is visible from the new Route 111.
Board members were pleased with the overall look and design of the plan but struggled with the amount of impervious material on the site.
Town commercial zoning regulations cap the impervious area of any building lot at 30 percent. The plan met that requirement up until two weeks ago, when Letizio completed a land swap with the state as part of the relocation of Route 111, according to project engineer Peter Zohdi.
Letizio proposed to remove pavement from a portion of land now owned by the state at his own expense if the land can be counted toward the impervious percentage in his project. If the space can’t be used in the project’s equations, the plan will be over by 5 percent, Zohdi said.
Board member Ruth-Ellen Post called the expansion a “wonderful thing,” describing Letizio as an exceptional neighbor with visually pleasing business. Still, Post said she struggled with borrowing from a neighboring parcel to meet impervious standards.
“Relying on abutting property just doesn’t meet the spirit or intent of the ordinance,” Post said.
Board member Jon Sycamore worried that making an allowance would encourage others to make the same request. However, he pointed out that the state has no incentive to remove impervious material. Without the allowance, Letizio also loses incentive to pay for the work.
“We’re kind of in a difficult position here, which is unique,” Sycamore said.
Sycamore said he believes the parties can work together and make it work.
It may become a question for the ZBA because the Planning Board can’t waive zoning requirements, members said.
A final application must be submitted to the board within 12 months.
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Julie Hanson may be reached at Jhanson@newstote.com.